Satoshi Ōmura


Satoshi Ōmura

© Nobel Media AB. Photo: A. Mahmoud

Satoshi Ōmura
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015

Born: 12 July 1935, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan

Affiliation at the time of the award: Kitasato University, Tokyo, Japan

Prize motivation: “for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites”

Prize share: 1/4


Satoshi Omura was born in Nirasaki, Yamanashi, Japan. He studied at the University of Yamanashi and at the Tokyo University of Science. He holds two doctorates: one in pharmaceutical science from the University of Tokyo from 1968 and one in chemistry from the Tokyo University of Science from 1970. He has then primarily worked at the Kitasato University, Minato, Tokyo, but is also affiliated with Wesleyan University, Middleton, Connecticut, USA.


A number of serious infectious diseases are caused by parasites spread by insects. River blindness is caused by a tiny worm that can infect the cornea and cause blindness. Lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis, is also caused by a worm and produces chronic swelling. Satoshi Omura cultured bacteria, which produce substances that inhibit the growth of other microorganisms. In 1978 he succeeded in culturing a strain from which William Campbell purified a substance, avermectin, which in a chemically modified form, ivermectin, proved effective against river blindness and elephantiasis.

To cite this section
MLA style: Satoshi Ōmura – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Thu. 13 Jun 2024. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.